A LOOK AT LA LIGA
How do you spot a director of Valencia football club in the streets? Easy, just listen out for the Mexican musicians!
With disgruntled supporters unable to use traditional forms of showing disdain - waving white handkerchiefs and generally booing - they thought laterally and booked a mariachi band. You know, the chaps in big hats, playing guitars blowing horns and signing jolly Latino ditties. It's a million times better than a plane flying over the stadium.
You could say the Valencia fans refuse to be silenced. Something had to be done when the club from the third largest city in Spain was humiliated by their neighbours from the small outpost of Villarreal.
Dani Parejo, until a few weeks ago the Valencia captain, scored a spectacular winner for Villarreal, to take to the top of the table and leave his old club in the bottom half. It was poetic justice for Parejo who was told he could leave for free as part of a clear out at the Mestalla in the summer.
Basically, all the star players were pawned off in an effort to reduce the wage bill by 40 per cent; Rodrigo headed for Leeds and Ferrán Torres joined Manchester City as the club raised 60 million euros.
Valencia is a shambles. Billionaire Peter Lim runs the club from his empire in Singapore. He frequently summons his henchmen to Asia to order them to make changes which very rarely improve the club. He's changed the coach on nine occasions in his five-year reign. Only once did he make a sound appointment.
Marcelino, a time served manager, mopped up the mess from Gary Neville and his other predecessors. He won the Copa del Rey, qualified for the Champions League and pointed them in the right direction. Within a few months he was gone. His parting statement: "They didn't tell me why they didn't want the Copa, only that it was a minor tournament and that I could be putting the main goal [Champions League qualification] at risk."
Javi Gracia, once of Malaga, recently of Watford, is possibly the humblest coach you can meet. Even Javi's patience snapped in the summer when he offered his resignation. He was effectively told that he'd need to buy himself out of his contract at a cost of three million euros. They are that desperate for funds!
One of the few valuable players remaining, Geoffrey Kondogbia will also be contributing to the club's finances by paying a fine for the following Instagram statement: "'Having already destroyed an ambitious project, you had to deceive your coach and, finally, me. Thank you."
And that is why a business lunch for the President's men in the centre of Valencia was disturbed by the Mexican band. Even when they ditched their paella, the musicians followed them to the club's offices.
It's quite a contrast to Villarreal who play at the Estadio Cerámica, an exceptionally well-run club in Spain's pottery region. Valencia appears to have its share of crackpots.